On my last post I said that 50% of Niger's population is under 15. I don't know what percentage is between 15 and 25, but it has to be pretty high. I think you get the idea that Niger's population is young. (This photo by Joni Byker.
Like teens everywhere, the kids here like to do what ever the latest style is. The guys love the ghetto look. The girls who can get away with it like to wear skimpy styles. They love rap and hip-hop. Many are rebellious. Sadly, they are being influenced by some very negative things coming out of the west. It's no wonder the US, and especially Hollywood, is not always appreciated!
Another thing most teens enjoy is sports. Sports are great because they help teach discipline and they give kids something to do to keep them out of trouble. When Mike Murphy was here, he had a dream to fix up the town's sports field which is basically just that....a field. We started a project to raise money to upgrade the field. A little came in and we were able to donate these nets. But, not much has come in and the mayor keeps asking if we can do anything to help. We thought we'd get a sizeable gift from Uncle Sam, but that hasn't come through.
The first picutre shows the soccer field which is a desolate stretch of sand. Animal poop litters the field and animals come meandering across even during games. The 2nd picture shows the ex-basketball backboards. The backboards and nets are totally gone, trash litters the ground, and the court is only sand. We would like to be able to put in a proper court, put up backboards, add a volleyball court, and put a wall around the facility. If there was enough money, lights could be installed for evening games and bleachers could be put in. This fund-raising project is a little different than others because it isn't directly for the church, but is for the town. However, it is beneficial for church/town relationships and shows our love for people outside our church community.
If you'd like to donate, you can contact SIM at Box 7900, Charlotte, NC 28241 or check their website at www.sim.org. You can even donate on-line! The project number is 97150, which you would need to mention on any donation you make.